Category Archives: Health

8th Day of the Week for Running and Coffee Shopping

Happy Thursday!!

 
Thursday is the last day of the work week in Israel so it’s always a good day for me, looking forward to some weekend fun.
Today especially, since we had a holiday Tuesday and Wednesday, and my work gave us an extra day off, so no work for 5 days.

 
I had been meaning to go to a running store to cash a couple of prices I got at races, so I did that today. They have mostly Mizuno running gear, and a few other brands I don’t particularly like, which was no problem at all, I have been loving Mizuno running clothes lately.
I got two singlets, similar to the ones I bought a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved. Also a sports bra, socks for my hubby, and a GU chomps because I have to try that flavor.

 
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I had some time left so I went and bought a new coffee machine, our new one was pretty much done.

 
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Shopping for coffee related and running related things, doesn’t get much better than that for me.
As simple as this seems, sometimes I don’t have the time for the little things, my family, work, and running take a lot of my time. I am not at all complaining, I love being busy and those things are definitely worth all my time and energy. Sometimes I just wish the week had an extra day for all the random stuff I need or want to do.

 
On Tuesday I did an interval run on the treadmill, my fast pace for 1 minute intervals is 4:00 Min/KM (06:26 Min/Mile). This is faster than I was doing a few months ago, so I’m glad I’m slowly making progress. Although I don’t feel like I can do them faster at this point, I did add a couple more intervals to Tuesday session, instead of 5 fast intervals, I did 7. I thought I might have trouble on the last few, but the run went really well, and I think I could have even done 1 or 2 more.
I do the intervals at the end, total it was a 50 minute run ranging in pace from 06:19 Min/KM (10:10 Min/Mile) to 4:00 Min/KM (06:26 Min/Mile).

 
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Wednesday was a very hot day in Israel, 40C/104F by noon, so I had to go run as early as possible. I checked the weather.com app on my phone the night before, and it seemed like it would be cool until 8 AM or so, so I started my run at 5:30. I guess a lot of people were thinking the same thing, because the boardwalk had way more action than usual at that time.
14K/8.7M at an easy pace, average 05:07 Min/KM (08:14 Min/Mile).

 
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Does it take you forever (like me) to do some things you want/need to do, that are not already part of your routine?

It can sometimes take me weeks/months to find the time to do something like color my hair or go buy clothes.

 

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Why and How to Run in the Morning, and the Best Swimming Tip

I was up at 3:30 in the morning today. My kids were having a tough night, and by the time they fell back asleep, I was wide awake.
I got up, made myself some coffee, and sat on the computer.

 
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I like to read on my computer while it’s dark and quiet, besides I can never search for enough running/fitness gear online.

 
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After about an hour I was feeling sleepy and thought it would be a good idea to get a couple hours of sleep, since facing a work day after being up at 3:30 didn’t sound like fun. And then I remembered all the reasons while running in the morning is the best, and figured being tired later so I could run would be worth it.

 
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Reasons why running in the morning is awesome:

 
* Endorphins: Running releases endorphins, a chemical that makes us feel happy, and who couldn’t use a free and natural antidepressant?
* Best for losing weight: Jump start your metabolism and burn more calories through the day, need I say more?
* Wake up big time: Running is such an eye opener, you’ll get on with your day bright awake and ready to rumble.
* Get it over with: Some people really enjoy running, for others it’s a chore that serves a purpose, such as losing weight or staying healthy. Either way, knowing it’s behind you and you are free to do other things later in the day is worth waking up earlier.
* Nature and silence: Even if you live in the middle of the cement jungle, the quietness, the birds flying around, the cool morning breeze… it’s a million times better than running later in the day when it’s noisy, there’s a lot more people walking around, and you can smell the car fumes in the air.

 
I am a morning person, so waking up early to run is easy for me. If you struggle with waking up early to go run, here are some tips that might help you manage a run before work/school/other obligations:

 
* Get your gear ready: I leave everything I need on the living room so I have everything handy when I wake up, and so I don’t make a lot of noise looking for my gear and risk waking up my family.
* Mental prep: Even for morning people like me, it’s not always easy to get out of bed and get out of the house, especially when it’s dark and cold (or hot, or wet, or I’m just tired). Thinking about my run and my training the night before, usually gets me motivated enough to go out the next morning. Set your alarms: No matter how motivated you are to run tomorrow morning, chances are when the alarm sounds you’ll try to talk yourself out of actually getting out of bed. Setting a couple of alarms within a minute of each other, and putting them a few steps away so you have to get up to turn them off, could mean the difference between a run and a nap.
* Plan your route: Think in advance where you’ll run, so you can make sure the route is safe and well lighted, and also to avoid running longer than intended and being late.
* Schedule it: Figure out how long you’ll be running, and schedule your times accordingly. Allow yourself plenty of time to shower and get ready for what’s next, especially if you have to be somewhere at a specific time.
* Nutrition/hydration: You might need to try your food/drink intake a few times before you figure out what works best for you. I personally eat and drink before I run, I feel lethargic without some calories and caffeine.

 

 
Since I was up so early, I managed to get an extra long session at the gym.

 
Running:
45 minutes progression run, with intervals thrown in just because:
10 minutes warm up
10 minutes at 05:10 Min/KM (08:20 Min/Mile)
10 minutes at 05:00 Min/KM (08:04 Min/Mile)
6 minutes at 04:47 Min/KM (07:42 Min/Mile)
9 minutes consisting of 3 intervals, each interval was 1 minute at 03:52 Min/KM (06:14 Min/Mile) and 2 minutes easy at 05:20 Min/KM (08:34 Min/Mile).

 
Ab/core work:
About 30 minutes of crunches, planks, push ups and pull ups.

 
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Swimming:
750 meters / 820 yards easy swimming, with last third of the workout being as fast as I could manage, which is really not fast at all.

 
A woman at the gym who used to swim on a competitive level told me the other day that I should try to keep my body a bit higher when I swim, with the back of my head slightly out of the water. She said my swimming technique is good (I took this as a huge compliment), but going to low underwater slows me down.
I really appreciate when people who know what they are talking about give me knowledgeable/useful suggestions like this. I don’t have a swimming or running coach, so sometimes I can be making bad mistakes without realizing it.
I paid attention to this today and tried to stay higher in the water than usual, and felt a big difference on my speed vs effort output, she definitely gave me a great tip.
With that being said, many times people give me unsolicited advice on issues that are personal, or without really knowing what they are talking about, that really annoys me.

 

What is your favorite time to run?

5:30 AM start.

How do you feel about strangers giving you unsolicited advice?

0.01% love/appreciate it (knowledgeable/factual advice), 99.99% hate it.

 

Running Everyday is Not For Me, or I Need a Vacation, or Both

5 straight days of running made me realize that my body can really take a hit. I admire all of you running every day, doing streaks, or even doing double-run days.

 
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I’m not built for that, or maybe I need to train into it gradually, although I’m satisfied with where I am running wise.

 
Last week was an exception, I had a couple of unscheduled rest days, and then my running sessions got all together.

 
Wednesday: Tempo – 11K/6.8M with last 4K/2.5M at 04:20 Min/KM (06:58 Min/Mile).

 
Thursday: Easy – 9KM/5.6M at average pace 05:09 Min/KM (08:17 Min/Mile).

 
Friday: Long – 25K/15.5M with last 8KM/5M at 04:40 Min/KM (07:31 Min/Mile).

 
Saturday: Easy – 9.5K/5.9M, at average pace 05:13 Min/KM (08:24 Min/Mile). I missed my morning run outside because my little boy was sick, so I managed to go to the gym in the afternoon and ran on the treadmill. Still an easy run pace wise, but it was crowded and hot, and it took a lot more effort out of me, so it didn’t feel easy.

 
Sunday: Tempo – 12K/7.5M with last 5K/3.1M at 04:26 Min/KM (07:07 Min/Mile).

 
Sunday’s tempo run was hard for me. I should have postponed it based on the fact that it was my 5th day in a row running, but my OCD self didn’t want to change my schedule. I have a 5K race this Friday so pushing a hard run to further in the week would mess my (kind of) taper.

 
I really don’t like to complain about my running or having a hard run, or being sore. Running is such a positive part of my life and I enjoy it so much, that I want to convey only the good things. I feel so grateful that I am still young and strong, and that I can wake up in the morning and go for a run, worry free, at least in the large scheme of things.

 
Keeping all the good in mind, I’ve been feeling like a I really need a vacation though, quality time with my family, doing fun things that we don’t get to do every day, and resting big time. As in lots of food, lots of sleep, and little physical activity. Heaven, right?
Our last vacation was last August, so it’s been some time, and it was a few days in Paris. We have amazing memories from that trip, but it certainly wasn’t restful. Now I dream about Thailand, or a Club Med, or a cruise, somewhere I can relax and rest.

 
In the meantime, a little beauty retail therapy did the trick, some new MAC makeup that I am totally loving, first time I buy their foundation and I am mad at myself I’ve waited this long! And I finally went to get my hair done, it was way too long and way too blond. Although I get a similar color than my natural color, which is dark blond / light brown, the strong Israeli sun and chlorine from the pool make my hair a million shades lighter in a matter of weeks.

 
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When was your last vacation and where did you go? Any tough runs lately?



 

Long Run, with Phone and Stops: Unheard Of!

I knew there was a triathlon going on this morning starting at the Tel Aviv Port, part of my running route, so I decided to do my long run with my phone and take some pictures.
I never run with my phone because I prefer to run as light as possible, but actually hardly felt it. My favorite running tights, I have 4 of the same type, slightly different models, have mesh side pockets which hold the phone in place perfectly.

 
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I started running at around 06:00 AM to beat the heat, it was already light out, and the weather was perfect. I put my sunglasses on my head because I knew I’ll be needing them soon, and put sunscreen on my arms and shoulders. Glad I did because my shoulders felt crazy hot by the time I finished running.

 
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I stopped to take a few pictures along the way, I always feel like stopping in the middle of my run is like giving myself an unfair advantage (against myself?), but figured taking a few pictures of the triathlon was worth it. It was just a few seconds here and there, nothing major.

 
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There was an incredible energy at the port with everyone getting ready for the swim when I ran by. People were waiting to go in the water, getting their things ready at the transition stations, warming up, etc. Of course my thoughts were “I need to do one of these”. I’m an OK swimmer and I have a relative who will lend me a bike for a while, so I can try things out and see how it feels. Not too sure about the actual “competing” part, but I could do it for fun.

 
My run today was 20K pretty easy, changed my route a little because I didn’t want to run on the course where the bike/run portions of the triathlon would be.
Total time of the run (not counting stops, I stopped my Garmin each time), was 01:37:20, average pace for the first 16K was 04:58 Min/KM (08:00 Min/Mile), average pace for the last 4K was 04:30 Min/KM (07:14 Min/Mile).
I wasn’t planning on finishing faster, but it happens to me often that I get a lot of energy at the end of the run. It’s a great feeling, and I enjoy running faster, but it bothers me that I can’t stick to the plan. I had scheduled a 12K run for next Wednesday with 4K at tempo pace, and a fartlek run for Thursday, now I’ll switch one of those runs with an easy run. I don’t want my fast speed runs to be more than 15% of my total running, each week. For the last few months I’ve been doing speed work around 20%-25% of my total weekly running time, and I think that was too much. It somehow worked, because I know I improved my speed, but I also dealt with tired legs on a regular basis. Sometimes they were just a little tired, sometimes they were very tired, but I’m thinking my legs shouldn’t be tired 90% of the time for months and months.

 
I was back home early, around 8:15. Another advantage of starting my runs at dawn, so I can be home early during the weekend and make the most of our family time. We stayed home all morning, and had a late breakfast on the balcony. That’s my big salad with cauliflower on top, my husband loves fried cauliflower (so do I), and I asked him to leave me some on the side, not fried, so I could add it to my salad. There are a lot of veggies under there too, so healthy.

 
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Went out in the afternoon for a longish walk with the hubs and kids in Tel Aviv, had coffee and hot chocolate, and then we had pizza in the evening to make up for all that healthy food from earlier. Best pizza place in Israel. I had the four cheese pizza, and another one with eggplant and Bulgarian cheese, so delicious. I’m not a huge fan of pizza, but when it’s really good, then I love it.

 
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How much speed work do you do? Any tips on how to do it without overdoing it?
Do you have a favorite pizza place or is any pizza delicious to you?



 

Sticky Independence

Cold weather and I are bitter enemies. Even here in Israel, there were some mornings that the thought of running outside made me want to quit running altogether.
But now spring is here, and it got warm really fast.
I went for a run at 06:00 in the morning, with 25C/77F when I started. Humid and sticky.

 
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It was an easy pace run so I wasn’t making a lot of effort, but still finished my run sweaty and tired.

 
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It’s a non-working holiday in Israel today, Independence Day, and we spent some time with family. My husband’s parents both come from really big families, so get togethers become huge events with lots of aunts and uncles and nephews and children all over the place, quite fun. I think we were over 50 adults and at least 20 children.

 
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Sometimes I miss eating meat, but then I think about the bigger picture. My veggies were delicious, and I also had a large piece of some round thick bread, I don’t know exactly what it was, kind of like a pita but four times the size.

 
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A little break in the week always does wonders to my energy levels, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s morning run and strength training, although my alarm is set for way too early.
It will be another easy run, similar route as today. I’m doing mostly moderate runs this week after Saturday’s race, the only speed work will on Thursday.

 

Do you get to see your extended family often? Is there anything you’ve quit eating?